Since being discovered by Captain Cook, Hawaii has attracted visitors seeking a peaceful paradise in the sun. Those unable to visit can watch movies and television shows portraying Hawaii, the next best thing to being there. Hawaiian Eye, Hawaii Five-O, and Magnum P.I. became popular television shows set in Hawaii.
Hawaiian Eye was the first television show set in Hawaii, although it was filmed in a California studio. It was a great help in promoting tourism to the tropical Pacific islands, which became a state in 1959 when the show began. Hawaiian Eye continued until 1963. The series revolved around a group of detectives working for a security agency, which had an office within the big Hawaiian hotel where they provided security. A singer and part-time hotel employee was played by actress Connie Stevens, a role that made her famous. Stevens stayed for all four seasons along with actor Robert Conrad. Troy Donahue starred in the last two seasons. Hawaiian Eye was produced by the same folks who produced 77 Sunset Strip, with both shows filming in the same studio.
The original Hawaii Five-O TV show was named for Hawaii becoming the 50th state of the union. This television series starred Jack Lord as state detective Steve McGarrett. James McArthur starred as Danny “Danno” Williams. McGarrett coined the phrase “Book-em Danno” which made the show famous. Jack Lord’s coiffed hair and dark suits were in sharp contrast to the surrounding casual environment, another memorable feature of the show. Kam Fong, an 18 year veteran of the Honolulu police, was cast as detective Chin Ho Kelly. The show was produced from 1968 to 1980, mostly filmed locally in Hawaii and shown on CBS.
Magnum PI, starring Tom Selleck as a private detective driving the fabulous Magnum car, a red Ferrari 308GTS convertible. Magnum was a solid successful show through its entire run from 1980, the same year Hawaii Five-O ended, until 1988. Magnum made Selleck rich and famous while wearing his trademark Detroit Tigers cap and colorful Hawaiian shirts while airing on CBS. The Magnum character was a Vietnam veteran boarding at a luxurious estate managed by an uppity British caretaker played by John Hillerman. Intertwined into the private eye plots were bachelor Magnum’s romantic escapades and problems, which sometimes interfered with his detective work.
The new Hawaii Five-O premiered on September 20, 2010, exactly 42 years after the original Five-O began. The reborn show brings us Alex O’Laughlin as the new Steve McGarrett, the grown son of the old McGarrett, and Scott Caan in the Danny Williams role. The show is doing well in the first season. The series pilot was filmed in Hawaii, where tourism officials hope the show will bring more visitors.
This article on Hawaii television shows was supplied by F. Gual from Constant Content.